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Up Close & Personal With Jibrizy
Chicago native and Internet sensation kicks off his "Black Magic Tour" in his hometown 
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​Ross’ (David Schwimmer) girlfriend on “Friends.” During seven episodes on the show, Tom was kind of a lightning rod for fans of the show, some who didn’t like the fact that she had taken Rachel’s (Jennifer Aniston) place in Ross’ heart. “Fans still get angry about that,” she says. “There was a live audience [during filming of the show], and they would boo me when I came on because they really wanted Ross to be with Rachel.”
  HE is known internationally as “The Hip-Hop Illusionist,” a title that stuck when rapper/actor 50 Cent used those words to describe Jibrizy after being amazed by his fascinating magic show.
   And the 22-year-old entertainer embraces that title wholeheartedly. “I am the hip-hop illusionist,” he says. “Hip-hop is about dance and rhythm; magic is about rhythm, it’s about timing; it’s all on the same canvas because it’s art. But this [magic] is different colors.”
   On November 15 at Stage 773, Jibrizy will demonstrate the card tricks, mind reading and the enthralling illusions that have helped him become a global attraction and a recognized performer on BET’s “50 Central,” MTV’s “Ridiculousness & Awesomeness,” Kevin Hart’s LOL Network and the CW's "Masters of Illusion." He has even performed illusions that have baffled legendary magicians Penn & Teller on their TV show "Fool Us."
   The Internet sensation, who has scored more than 15 million views on YouTube, began displaying his incredible talent as a young teenager. Growing up on the South Side of Chicago, Jibrizy found out at 13 that he had been stricken with Crohn’s disease, a chronic inflammatory disease of the intestines, and he spent most of the next two years almost exclusively at home. That confinement prompted a revived interest in magic that first intrigued him as a 9-year-old, and he soon realized that sleight of hand made him and those around him feel better. As he continued to hone his craft, Jibrizy wanted to impact more people and established his own YouTube channel, “Jibrizy Magic,” which quickly turned him into a sought-after star.
   But it’s not about being a star per se that thrills him, he says, rather he hopes to be a positive influence on those who enjoy his talents. “I literally want to be the most influential person alive,” he says with a sense of humility. “I’ll only live once, so why just be good? I want to be legendary!”
––Walter Leavy
For more information and tickets to Jibrizy's "Black Magic Tour" at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Avenue, go to www.eventbrite.com.